Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Savings: Electric Bill

1. Ceiling Fans - I live in Mississippi so ceiling fans are a must. Ceiling fans are a great help in circulating the cool air that your AC produces. However, the fans aren't much help if they are not running teh right way. You want the air blowing down, not up. If the air is blowing up, reverse the direction of the fan blades and make sure the air blows down. If the air is blowing up, you are just recirculating hot air through your room making it warmer instead of cooler.

2. Filters - Change your air conditioner filter every month. If it is dirty your AC has to work harder which in turn uses more electricity.

3. Don't use lights you don't need. For the most part, we don't turn lights on in the house during the day at all. During the evenings, we try to create a "mood" with lamps and candles.

4. Make your kids "energy police". Kids are very conscience about things when you make them responsible. Give them the job of turning out lights when they find them on, closing doors when they find them open, turning off faucets if they are left dripping, etc... Keep a jar and every time they correct a problem let them put a marble in the jar. When the jar is full, reward them by taking them for ice cream.

5. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs like compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). When compared to a 60-watt incandescent bulb, over its lifetime a CFL will last ten times longer and up to $30 on electric bills.

6. When buying new appliances, look for the Energy Star mark. These meet the strict standards of the EPA and US Department of Energy.

7. Use more cold water. Use it to wash your clothes. Use slightly cooler water to bathe and shower in. Wash your hands and brush your teeth with cold water. Turn the "heated dry" cycle off on your dishwasher.

8. Bump up your air conditioner temp. If you normally set your air conditioner on 72, try bumping it up to 74 and run your fans more. Even that small difference will impact your bill.

9. Make sure your attic is well insulated.

10. Have the electric company come out and perform maintenance and an evaluation on your meter. If it is not reading correctly you could be overpaying... YIKES!

11. Unplug appliances when not in use. If it is plugged in it is sucking electricity. Unplug the coffee pot, blender, elliptical trainer (I wasn't using that anyway!), Playstation, etc... except when using them.

12. Try planning out your menu and cooking once or twice a week instead of every day. (This is my favorite way to cook.) This means you are only heating up your kitchen once a week and don't have to ask yourself "What's for dinner?" every single day!


Austin Meadows said...

Read Department of Energy Fact Sheet on Power Factor

Most motorized home appliances (air conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, ceiling fans, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, furnace blowers, etc.) operate most efficiently when they’re operating at full capacity. When they’re not working at full capacity they pull more energy than they use, wasting the difference.
And let’s face it, rarely does any appliance or device in your home constantly work at full capacity. In fact, the average home in America today operates at a power factor of .77. That means 23% of the electricity being delivered to the home is being wasted by the use of motorized appliances working at less than capacity.

You can increases that power factor, in most cases, to .97 or .98, therefore increasing the effective use of your electricity and lowering your usage.

Austin Meadows said...

Research more at:

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...I hope to see you again. Great ideas...I use all of them!! Yeah Me!

Also, a prayer for Andy...

Dena said...

Great tips. I do most of them, but I don't unplug things that I'm not using. I'll have to start doing that.

TONYA said...

I keep telling myself I need to spend a day or two cooking meals and freezing them. I really must get on that and get off the damn computer LOL

i'm black betty said...

great ideas! thank you for sharing. :)